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The Secret, 8b by Izidor Zupan  Facebook

The Secret 8c from Društvo ŠMOCL www.tvlasko.si on Vimeo.

Lleida is the hard core epicentrum  Facebook

During the last month, 30 ascents 8c and harder have been recorded in crags in Spain out of which 24 ascents within an hour from Lleida. No other country, including France, have received Moreno than one 8c ascent during the last 30 days. Sure many more 8c's have been done the last month around the globe but never before has one area been so dominating even if France had almost an equal winter monopoly until 1995. The most important person for this dramatic change is Dani Andrada.

One reason for why France has lost it's popularity is because chipping was very popular during the 80-ies and the 90-ies. Today, several top climbers avoid such crags and the chipping also limited the potential to put up new beautiful hard core lines.

Jan Hojer doing Off the Wagon, 8B+ and more  (1) Facebook

Josune Bereziartu: The best female climber in the history?  Facebook

During the last years, we have through Sasha Digiulian, Charlotte Durif and Ashima Shiraishi seen some great progress by the female. Nevertheless, it is still Josune Bereziartu that has the most impressive redpoint Tick List with three 9a's. She was also the first female to have done 8c, 8c+ and in 2002, Bain de Sang, 9a in Saint Loup.

Beside that she was on top of the boulder game and she also did several world class multi pitches. On the comp scene she won the first Boulder World Cup she entered but she finished in 2000. Overall Josune ight be the best female in the history or what do you think? 8a interview from 2005.

Five countries dominate the WC  Facebook

The Combined Lead and Boulder World Cup Rankings reveal that it is five countries that dominates the scene and it is also just these countries that participates with big teams in the comps. It is also the same five countries plus Spain that have had succesful teams the last ten years.

3 249 Austria: 1 942 + 1 307 (Lead + Boulder)
2 891 France: 1 746 + 1 145
2 642 Japan: 1 688 + 954
2 221 Russia: 1 023 + 1 198
1 954 Slovenia: 1 376 + 578

1 482 Korea, 1 089 Germany, 781 Canada (McColl) 741 Netherlands (Verhoeven) 662 Spain (Ramonet) 660 Italy, UK 625, 603 USA

Silbergeier 8b+ by Caprez & Lachat  (18) Facebook

Cedric Lachat has for several years been one of the best counting all disciplines from Boulder comps to Multipitches. Also Nina Caprez has been succesfull in all disciplines and is now one of the leading female MP climbers in the world.

Silbergeier was put up by Beat Kammerlander in 1993 and Nina did the first female ascent of the six pitcher, (8b/b+, 7c+/8a, 8a+, 7a+, 8b+, 7c+/8a).

Thanks for a great 2012  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThanks everybody who has recorded and star rated another 400 000 ascents during 2012 making it easier to find the best crags and climbs around the globe. Thanks also to everyone who has improved the data base, written and spell checked news and sent us tips for news etc etc.

8a is based on contributions from the community and we are always looking for more guys who can help out. Just spend some hours and we will send you an 8a La Sportiva T-shirt, jens@8a.nu. We are also looking for more country specific translators.

The next big thing is the great update of the 8a.nu topo App with a complete 8a scorecard feature. Later it will also be possible to get listed left to right topos for all the major crags in the world including GPS positioning.

Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year :)

Caminati 8A+ FA in Cresciano  Facebook

North Sail from Could Be Worse on Vimeo.

Look-like-a Pro Climber  Facebook

Most trainers can judge the level for any climber after just 15 seconds. Here are some quick tips how you can look like a pro which also will make you progress fast.

1. Look down
Pro climbers look down at his feet to stay relaxed and prepare higher feet in the best way. A periscope just creates more load on your hands.

2. High up with the feet
Intermediate climbers often try to reach as high as possible resulting in positions where it is hard see new holds both up and down. Instead, put up your feet high so you can see further up and do quick/long moves through the cruxes.

3. Changes of Rythem
Stop and go is the trick all pros are using meanwhile intermediates are using the same pace throughout the route. Always practice some quick moves to stay prepared for when you need them on the cruxes.

4. Rest, rest, rest
A pro is 100 % focused while resting almost like in meditation. You can see that he moves all his body very slowly and the trick is breathing.

Strange 9a and 9b stats  Facebook

During 2012, we have seen some 50 guys having done one 9a and the number is increasing every year. At the same time, Adam Ondra is the only one to have done a 9b or more by his 9b+ Change in Flatanger.

The first 9b was reported in 1995 ny Fred Rouhling just four years after the first 9a. During the last 16 years, it is actually only Adam Ondra (6 ascents), Chris Sharma (5), Bernabe Fernandez in 2003 and Dani Andrada in 2008 who have done a 9b.

Why is it that every year more guys and girls do 9a but the 9b scene is stagnated? The strange thing is that we see the same in bouldering, i.e. the top grade pyramid is just getting wider every year.

Ondra last Christmas in Font  Facebook

BD athlete Adam Ondra's Christmas 2011 outtakes and 8B sendage from Fontainebleau, France from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.

Higher grades through recruitment optimization  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe quickest way to get stronger is through recruitment optimization, i.e. to repeat one move just as you do while bouldering. Fred Nicole often use "power spotting" meaning that he has somebody pushing him on his back in order to make the move using his best finger position all the way.

For every hold, there is for every climber an optimal finger angel. Normally this is either; Open hand, Open Crimp or Closed Crimp, see the picture.

8A by Megan Mascarenas (15)  Facebook

Megan Mascarenas who flashed an 7C+ (8A) being 14 has done The Gusher, 8A in Ute Pass.

The complete grade evolution  (11) Facebook

Planetmountain presents through Claude Remy, the most detailed Tick List on the grade progress during the last 100 years in several categories of bouldering and route climbing. It should be noted that the boulder grades presented for some reason have not taken into account that most are today considered down graded. As an example, credits are given for several 8C+', without mentioning Adam Ondra, at the same time as the community struggles to understand if the first 8C+ have been done.

"Climbing grades are not an exact science; in addition some achievements haven't yet been confirmed and the difficulty of more than one of these routes has changed over the years due to broken (or modified) holds. This list, which adheres to the French grading scale, is therefore an initial proposal which needs integrating with bouldering traverses trad routes, and hybrid climbs (which begin with a boulder and continue with a rope)."

Junior of 2012 (Preliminary)  Facebook

Please feel free to suggest more names of youngsters that have done extraordinary well during 2012.

1. Ashima Shiraishi USA (01)
2. Adam Ondra CZE (93)
3. Mirko Caballero USA (01)
4. Brooke Raboutou USA (01)
5. Tito Traversa ITA (01)
6. Ruben Firnenburg GER (95)
7. Momoka Oda JPN (94)
8. Domen Skofic SLO (93)
9. Cameron Hörst USA (00)
10. Margo Hayes USA (98)

11. Niccolo Ceria, Tina Hohnsen Hafsaas, Anak Verhoeven, Loic Timmermans, Stasa Gejo, Hannes Puman, Hannah Schubert, Katharina Posch, Jessica Pilz, Dmitry Fakiryanov, Sebastian Halenke, Anze Peharc, Michael O'Rourke, Piotr Schab, Adrian Chmiala, Mikel Linacisoro, Toru Nakajima, Michael Piccolruaz, Shawn Raboutou, Stefan Lavender, Hugo Meignan, Alejandro Ventajas, Cousin Lucian, Samuel Hammer, Jenya Kazbekova, Eva Scroccaro, Megan Mascarenas, Alex Hernández Inyil, Jonatan Flor, Magdalena Röck

A Northeastern Experience incl flashes of 8A+ and 8B  (6) Facebook

A Northeastern Experience from Jimmy Webb on Vimeo.

Hardware carabiners are dangerous  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureEmanuele Pellizzari has collected old quick draws and hardware carabiners used mainly at the belay station. The conclusion is that even worn out CEmarked climbing carabiners are safer than the hardware gear you see in the picture.

Sometimes the dangerous hardware gear are also marked CE which in this case stands for China Export. More info at planetmountain.

"Living the dream" blog by Mirko Caballero (11)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMirko Caballero has put together another amazing blog from his adventures which for any eleven year old climber must be considered - Living the dream.

(c) Killko Caballero - Talking beta with Melissa Le Neve and Jacopo Larcher on a 8c+ in Red river Gorge

Chasing Winter Trailer  Facebook

CHASING WINTER • Official Trailer from Carlo Traversi on Vimeo.

Blocz Trailer  Facebook

Blocz - trailer from Kaos Prod on Vimeo.

DPM goes in to court  Facebook

Some weeks ago, 8a reported that Jonathan Siegrist had done Daniel Woods, 9a Mission Impossible. The whole news was just based on a Siegrist quote where he says it is maybe 8c+ or even 8c. No other info was added and nobody commented the news.

Now DPM presents an anonymous totally crazy story, Mission Impossible: How the Court should grade it?

Stella Marchisio - Conception (Twins to Core)  Facebook

Why is Kalymnos #1  Facebook

Kalymnos is the best climbing destination in the world measured by the full package the climbers are looking for. The only obstacle is getting there but here are some very facts you should keep in mind the next time you hesitate looking at the flight options.

1. 2 500 very well bolted routes on 70 sectors, 50 % within 1h walking
2. High quality lime stone in all styles, very steep for the grade, 6c - 8a's often neighbours
3. The quality of the routes are #1 on 8a.nu, measured up to 8a
4. The scenery is just mind-blowing everywhere
5. Nice rest days activity: Scooter & Boat trips, Beaches, Hikes and KAC etc
6. Friendly locals that very much like climbers
7. Very stable sunny weather with good conditions: Mar-May and Sep-Nov
8. Dinner Euro 5<, Accom. Euro 8<, Scooter Euro 8<
9. The local climbing shop has prices like a low price web shop: Grigri 72 Euro

Kalymnos (Kos) tickets available at Ryan Air  Facebook

Ryan Air have now made it possible to book your flight to Kos from nine cities in Europe from end of March to end of October. In 2012, Ryan Air stopped earlier than originally planned and it is hotel owners on Kos that have paid a fee to Ryan Air in order to start operations again in 2013.

Graham: The Warrior Path Part 4  Facebook

Review - Men's Soft Shell Ferrosi Hoody  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe American brand OUTDOOR RESEARCH, based in Seattle and, as its name states, specialized in outdoor gear, presents us with one of their most interesting creations, the men's soft shell Ferrosi Hoody, one of the preferred items among its athletes.

The first thing that strikes you is its lightness (399 grams). It's very thin and elastic, hence its perfect body fit, nevertheless its resilient and as warm as any other clothe without thermal insulation... Keep reading our review here.

Gui-Gui does Supertanker, 8B+ in Font  (8) Facebook

Yesterday, Gui-Gui completed his long-term project, Supertanker in very average conditions. This boulder, opened by Antoine Vandeputte in 2007, takes the "Big Golden" boulder and traverse it from left to right (around 8A in itself), to get to the start of Artresie (8A too). This may be the hardest problem in the 'Big 5' square.
Commenting his ascent, Guillaume tells that this problem was very beta-intensive for him, and that linking everything right took him quite some time. Trust him, the guy has done Artresie in itself around 50 times now, and still fell many times after the crux.
More info in French AND english on Guillaume's blog

The Video of the send :

Supertanker 8B+, Fontainebleau from guittooo on Vimeo.

IFSC 2013  Facebook

Another 9a FA in Frankenjura by Markus Bock and Interview  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMarkus Bock writes in his blog, "I've managed to free some really great 11th grade routes from their project status, namely Reunion 8c, The Obsessed 8c+, The 4 Horsemen 8c+ and Witchtripper 9a."

This should mean that out of the Top-50 hardest routes in Frankenjura, Markus has opend 48!
Interview (c) Jochen Meyer of The 4 Horsemen

Graham: The Warrior Path - 3  Facebook

More IFSC comps than ever in 2013  Facebook

IFSC plan 8 + 8 World Cups in Lead and Boulder out of which five + five in Europe. The bouldering circuit starts in China in March and as last year, there will also be one event in USA and Canada. Also like in 2012, there will be a three weeks long tour in Asia for the Lead guys.

For the youth there will be a more comps than ever with five Lead and three Boulder Euro Youth Cups, Lead/Boulder Euro Championships and also a Lead Youth World Championship (Canada).

Graham: The Warrior Path Part 2  Facebook

Climber of 2012  Facebook

A very preliminar Climber of the year which as previous years has a focus on Sport climbing, FA's and being a good role model etc. Please give your comment.

1. Adam Ondra
2. Jakob Schubert
3. Daniel Woods
4. Sasha Digiulian
5. Mina Markovic
6. Dave Graham
7. Ramonet Puigblanque
8. Ashima Shiraishi
9. Sean McColl
10. Alex Puccio

11. Magnus Midtbö
12. Dimitry Sharafutdinov
13. Sachi Amma
14. Rustam Gelmanov
15. Melissa Le Neve
16. Jorg Verhoeven
17. Anna Stöhr
18. Chris Sharma
19. Paul Robinson
20. Alizee Dufraisse

21. Cedric Lachat
22. Nalle Hukkataival
23. GG Mondet
24. Kilian Fischhuber
25. Dani Andrada
26. Matilda Söderlund
27. Mario Lechner
28. Jain Kim
29. Momoka Oda
30. Alexander Megos

31. Tomoka Ogawa, Carlo Traversi, James Webb, Nancho Sachez, Stefano Ghisilfo, Alex Honnold, Maria Davies Sandbu, Dai Koyamada, Enzo Oddo, Gabriele Moroni

41. Johanna Ernst, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Akiyo Noguchi, Jan Hojer, Chris Webb-Parsons, Shauna Coxsey, Guntram Jörg, Michele Caminati, Jon Cardwell, Nina Caprez, Caroline Ciavaldini

We need a world standard climbing ethic  Facebook

It is just natural that different ethics apply in different climbing communities. In Frankenjura, most hard core locals sometimes down climb (or jump without a pad) in order to later and for ever take advantage of the preclipped carabiners.

In other areas, this liberal down climbing ethics have stopped meaning that you can normally not claim an ascent if it was done with three or more pre-clipped.

The problem occurs when different down climbing ethics are used on the same routes. It could seem unfair, for the conservative, trying to repeat an 8c if the FA was done with the fourth preclipped as the FA could, after much training, jump/climb down it. Clipping all could instead mean that it becomes an 8c+ or even a 9a?

The Koyamada affair is another example that a world standard ethics are needed when it comes to define how to start boulder. In USA, sit starts are no so common as in Europe and instead defined crouched starts, i.e. "the American sit" are practiced. Sometimes this creates unfairness and controvercies.

If we would have a world standard ethic, we would see less back stabbing/controversies and we could instead focus on the beauty of the climbs. 8a suggested climbing ethics. In bouldering it might seem easier to opt for the Euro starting ethics but even so there will always be different possibilities for boulderers with different reach. The basic idea must be to copy how the FA did.

What do you think can be done in order to minimize misunderstandings and controversies?

Brasil Vertical by Camargo - 24 min  Facebook

NA.SA. Project Video - 100% Bouldering, 100% Nacho Sánchez  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNA.SA. Project is a 30 minute video by RC Productions exclusively depicting the figure of NA. SA., i.e. Nacho Sánchez.

Half an hour is time enough to just freak out with the massive power and strength of the best Spanish boulderer with footage of him in some of his hardest boulder problems, for instance, doing the very first Spanish 8C and some other 'out of this world' stuff.

The action takes place in the Spanish bouldering areas around Madrid such as Bayuela, Hoya Moros or Tamajón, places where Nacho has ticked a big number of FA's.

It's the perfect movie if you want to practice your Spanish language skills, but no matter which language it is in, if you like bouldering, you can't miss this video. An incredible dose of psyche for hard training as well as for raising your personal bar. In this link you can download it for just 3€.

9a and 8c+ by Joey Kinder  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJoey Kinder who will spend the whole winter in Spain has sent La Nuvena Puerta, 8c+ and Seleccio Natural, 9a in Santa Linya. "After breaking holds and the route changing 20 times I am comfortable calling it 9a. Great time trying this route with Black Tooth Tommy and learning the in's and out's on this monster.

Seldom climbed on and represents one of the best routes in Santa Linya. Pure non-stop climbing with zero stopping spots for the meat of the route. A perfect-muscley-style on a 45º wall. I love this route.

I would like to dedicate this send to the folks involved in the heinous shootings of Newtown, Connecticut. This really hit home on many levels and created a pretty emotional day yesterday. Everything felt pointless. Maybe not giving a shit about climbing helped. Bueno, en el final estoy contento.

Vredens Duvor ss, 8A by Geir Söderin  Facebook

Matilda Söderlund onsights 8a+  Facebook

Matilda Söderlund, El Fustigador 8a+ Onsight from Edvard Stokstad on Vimeo.

Graham credits Koyamada's 2010 ascent  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDave Graham put up The Story of Two World in Cresciano as an an 8C in order to stop the grade inflation. "It was such a nice challenge for me. It will be really nice someday to have people talk about how cool the moves are of this amazing boulder, the story, and not just wonder about the start and the grade."

Dave says he thinks Dai Koyamada already in 2010 repeated it as details with identical starts and finishes are not important as long as you start sitting and when the difficulty is the same.

"My beta is much harder! It was not the smartest. It should not be considered as a hard 8C any longer. It cant be 8C+ if you ask me... but "personal" grades matter."

Graham also wanted to say that the new released video with a dab going into The Dagger is not for the actual send.

Jacopo Larcher gets Jungle Speed (9a)  (15) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJacopo Larcher who some weeks ago made headlines from Red River Gorge managed to do the 4rth (?) ascent of Daniel Jung's Jungle speed.
From Jacopo's words, the short route breaks into a 3 bolts boulder problem followed by a 7c+ish overhanging slab. The crux revolves around a very hard shoulder move, followed by a big reach to a good two finger pocket.
The 23 years old Italian climber has more of a "mountain" background, but recently took more time for sport climbing, with pretty good results. Although telling us that he's having great fun on route climbing, his focus is not on long-term projects (both of his recent 9a's were climbed in a few tries).
And as he would definitely like to transpose his skill into mountain sized projects at some point, no doubts we'll hear a lot more coming from the guy in the future.

Picture : Jacopo in Jungle Speed, credit : Mélissa le Névé

Boulder Start World Standard Ethics  Facebook

The problem occurs when you have to give instructions, and how it should be done, on how to start a problem. Here are the most common way to do it and we are always talking about adding to the name.

Sit Start (SS): Your ass leaves the pad last and statically
Defined start (DS): Exact position for hands (feet) - USA style

Greenland teaser by youngsters  Facebook

Teaser Greenland 2012(english) from redpointmovie on Vimeo.

Fourth 8b+ by Mirko Caballero (11)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMirko Caballero has done his fourth 8b+, Ubermensch in Pinnacles. "Hard short but bouldery route. Initially 8b by Chris Sharma, but it's conglomerate rock, and several holds have broken off, so it's now considered hard 8b+."

Mirkos progress is just amazing as his personal best last year was 7c+ and this year he has done 19 routes 8a to 8b+ in all styles including two onsights. (c) Anthony Lapomardo

Belay technique and soft falls  (6) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureQuite often you hear about a small girl taking a very hard fall, injuring herself, due to her much heavier boyfriend or father have created a very hard fall. Here are some practical tips on how you can give soft falls also for the small climbers making them less afraid and possibly climb harder in the future.

The picture tries to show that bending knees makes it impossible to sit down and helps the heavier belayer to jump upwards.

Koyamada's first repeat of The Story of Two Worlds, 8C was OK  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureIn 2010, Dai Koyamada made his first repeat of Dave Graham's The Story of Two Worlds, 8C in Cresciano. Later Dai found out that this second ascent was questioned as his starting hold for his left hand was different from the original one, see picture from Dai's video.

Now it seems based on this video from Graham's ascent from 2005, which was released yesterday, that Dai used the identical starting holds as Dave did.

Grahams 2005 video - The Story of Two Worlds  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDave Graham opend The Story of Two Worlds in Cresciano as an 8C in 2005 as a statement towards grade inflation which made it stop. It is a perfect sit start also for the shortest guys that traverses out in a spectacular roof.

In March, Dai Koyamada made his second ascent of it adding a start with one hand lower compared to the original start going feet first saying, "I decided to start with a more natural and harder position,".

The Frontier has just released the Video from 2005 which in comparison to the Koyamada video show that Koyamda's "Low" start is actually quicker and less complicated which makes it hard to understand why he called it "... Low", 8C+.

After seven moves they are in the same position which took Koyamada 20 sec from the "Low" meanwile Graham used 27 sec from the original sit start.

Bock the king of Frankenjura  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureFrankenjura is with some 10 000 routes spread out over almost 1 000 sectors one of the largest climbing areas in the world. There are 14 routes graded 9a and harder and Markus Bock has put up all but Action Directe (which is ranked as the hardest 9a). Out of the official Top-50 hardest routes in Frankenjura, Markus Bock has put up 47!

Interview is coming up including also the use of glue and the liberal down climbing ethics in Frankenjura.

Markus is known for his hard gradings and only some 10 % of his hardest routes have been down graded. The 33 year old was also one of the first who officially started to give personal grades for most of his boulder repeats in Switzerland some ten years ago.

Another week in Albarracin for Olausson  (2) Facebook

Which are the first natural 8B< and 9a<  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAction Directe is the famous first 9a in world put up by Wolfgang Güllich in Frankenjura in 1991, as long as Hubble by Ben Moon in 1989 has not also been upgraded. Both these famous routes are not natural as they are both glued so which is the first pure 9a in the world on perfect rock?

When it comes to bouldering, Fred Nicole's La Danse del Balrog and Radja have been down graded and could both be considered as eliminate variations. Which are the first non-contrieved 8B which ends at the top of a boulder with a clear and natural start?

The first natural 9a might be La Rambla first anchor in 1994 (c) 4sport.ua and also the first 9a+ is probably his Open Air in 1996. When it comes to 9b, it might be Jumbo Love by Chris Sharma in 2008?

9a FA by Jakob Schubert  Facebook

Jakob Schubert has done one more 9a, Seleccio Natural in Santa Linya. "FA of the new little extension which gives this nice line the obvious end. Solid 9a like this I think."

The best competition climber in the world 2012, has also done Bumaye, 8c+. "Best route that I have done in Margalef! 3rd Go this year (4th in total).

Estato critico, 9a by Reffo and Jung  Facebook

Ramon Julian Puigblanque put up Estato critico in Siurana in 2004 and it a high quality route that has become one of the most repeated 9a's in the world. The last two days it was done by Silvio Reffo and Markus Jung and for both guys it was the second of the magic grade.

Twelve 7C+ and harder by Mirko Caballero (11)  (4) Facebook

Mirko Caballero is about to take kids bouldering to a new level by sending four 8A's and eigth 7C+ during a week in Bishop. The last year, the eleven year old has also done four 8b+ and he is #5 in the Junior ranking game.

8B+ FA by Woods repeated by Webb  (1) Facebook

Daniel Woods has made the FA of Aggravated Assault, 8B+ in Griffin Falls which later Jimmy Webb repeated. Both say it is a remarkable problem.

Woods: "Amazing roof. Thanks to Jimmy for showing me this line and getting me amped. Tyler, Less, and Jimmy cleaned and tried this line. Jimmy sent me photos and got me psyched to come check it out. Very powerful movement on weird, flat, not so positive edges going out a 50 degree roof. Violent moves to the fullest.

Agartha, 8B+ by Toshi Takeuchi  Facebook

Toshi Takeuchi has done his third 8B+ by repeating Dai Koyamada's Agartha in Toyota. Next year, he wants to try the sit start making it 8C. Here is the Koyamada Agartha video.

The Dagger, 8B+ by Jernej Kruder  (8) Facebook

Jernej Kruder has done The Dagger, 8B+ in Cresciano. "First real 8b+...second go on this trip...hope the weather will be fine, cuz sit start is already done in 3 parts". He is talking about the famous Story of Two Worlds. The Slovenian is also a successful competition climbers who twice has been #4 in a Boulder WC.

7C+ OS and much more by Mirko Caballero (11)  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMirko Caballero had a truly amazing winter day in Bishop yesterday where he did five 7C and harder including an onsight of Action Jackson, 7C+. Today he did Swordfish Trombone, 8A see picture. In the junior combined ranking game the eleven year old is #5.

It has been haqrd winter conditions since they areived on Saturday, "Bishop 2am. Tent is up. Long snowy drive. 3 miles before Bishop we hit a low of 9 F (13-). Pretty relieved when we got a "balmy" 14 F (10-) at camp...

Ciudad de Dios (9a) by Jakob Schubert  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJakob Shubert, who is listed as #2 on the preliminary "8a Climber of the year" list, has done Edu Marin's Ciudad de Dios, 9a, in Santa Linya.

The Austrian has had yet another successful year in the competition scene being overall #3 in both the Lead and Boulder World Cups. He also won the Lead World Championships and his now spending time on the rocks. (c) ©Elias Holzknecht

8C by Toru Nakajima (19)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureToru Nakajima has done the first repeat of Dai Koyamada's Tokoyo, 8C at Kasagi. Already four years ago, being 15 years old he did his first 8B+ and he has also already performed world class at the gritstone trad as well as 9a sport. Here is a 15 min video from bouldering around Colorado earlier this year.

First 8B+ by Micha Vanhoudt  (1) Facebook

Micha Vanhoudt has opend Barry White, 8B+ in NÖ in Austria. "Suggested grade of 8B+, 'cause it felt a lot harder than anything I've tried or climbed before. Future will tell. Took me ages to do it... Amazing problem!" Michavanhoudt.com

8a OS by Eva Lopez (41)  Facebook

Eva Lopez has onsighted La Franja de Gaza, 8a in Cuenca. The 41 year old is a well known coach for several succesful spanish climber and also the inventor of the hang-boards; Trangression and Progression.

8b Argyro Papathanasiou  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureArgyro Papathanasiou finished a nice career in Taekwando some three years ago. After two years of focusing on climbing she did 8a and now after another ten months with some ten routes 8a and and 8a+ she has done her first 8b, El Figot in Siurana.

"I almost did it in my third try too but then a big hole in my fingertip made me climb for 4-5 days with tape which was impossible. On my last day in Siurana I decided I will give only one try with no tape a muerte...and I did it...just enough skin before it opened again!

8B flash by Jimmy Webb  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Webb has made a very impressive flash of the well confirmed 8B, Roses and blue jays in Great Barrington. "The most spectacular boulder. Freak good conditions today and I was able to climb the boulder perfectly making not a single mistake. A dream come true."

Jimmy is #4 in the ranking game but based on his continous progress during the last six years, he is a contendor for stepping up as a contendor of the best boulderer in the world 2013. The picture is from an 8a interview in 2010.

Ben Spannuth - Two Tiny Routes  Facebook

Spanish hard bouldering sends around Madrid  (13) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureReally nice friction for bouldering around Madrid during the last few days which brings quite a few sends on big numbers for different Spaniards:
Now that Klem Loskot is back again on the media it seems like people got attracted by one of his creations back in the days, El Monstruo de las Regletas, 8B (video) in El Escorial. Alfonso Arce, sent it last Thursday and Javier Meng and Ignasi Tarrazona did it yesterday.

Quite incredible what Alfonso (pic by Iván Luengo) is doing cause since we reported in the spanish site about his first 8B some 20 days ago, he's fired-off another three problems of such difficulty level (being the last the one we write about above).

Yesterday also and in the same area, Alberto Rocasolano was able to top out Triceratos sit, 8B.

A special mention is deserved by Nacho Sánchez who blogs about his last FA to Zarzafar for which he proposes 8B+. "Some years ago Iván Luengo showed me a project in Zarzalejo with long and physical moves on the start and an "odd" end. This one has been the first important objective for this season. After quite a few sessions and several attempts falling from the mantle, yesterday I was able to top it out."

Another 9a (+) FA by Klem Loskot (38)  (28) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKlem Loskot has done the FA of Rehabilitation, 9a (+) at Balcony in Plombergstein where he just some three weeks ago did the FA of The Balcony project, 9a (+). The name Rehabilitation comes from that the original 8c line from 1991 was partly made up by artificial holds that have been taken down.

"In 1991 it was different with artificial holds. In south of Europe it was just normal, even on top routes. There are so many artificial holds on the hardest routes from the 90'ies, even Action Directe, Hubble and La rose etc.

I feel very bad for that period and it's a shame and especially for the balcony which is soo unique. I could at least for my self "repair" and rehabilitate my self. I have to get
the holds out of one more artificial line and make the rock look as "beauty" as possible. This one will not go free natural.

BIG WORM - Dave Wetmore  (2) Facebook

8A+ by Mina Leslie-Wujastyk  Facebook

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk has had some great few days in Joe's Valley, having done three 8A's and yesterday she did Dark Matters, 8A+ in Huntington Canyon. "Beautiful beautiful sandstone wall. Really nice moves too.

8c by Ruben Firnenburg (15)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureRuben Firnenburg who won the Euro Youth Cup in Slovenia the last weekend, as well as overall, has spent the last week in Misja Pec where he did Strelovod, 8c. Also Jakob Heber Norum (16) has done the 8c.

Ruben: "The Conditions were pretty bad and it was rainy and about 5 °C . It became a little fight so we were really glad sending the nice line after that week and it was good fun! Especially for Jakob the Route was a new success as his first 8c!" (c) Martin Pötter

9a by Akito Matsushima  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAkito Matsushima has done Open up your mind direct, 9a in Santa Linya. "It took four days about ten tries to make it......so nice condition nice weather." The Japanese has previously done two 9a, Kinematix and Fuck the system.

In the last ten Lead World Cups, his worst result was #16. In the Boulder WC 2007, Akito was #4.

8c+ (9a) by Jonathan Siegrist  Facebook

Jonathan Siegrist reports that he has done the first repeat of Daniel Woods' Mission Impossible in Clear Creek Canyon. "
So I suppose it's 14c (8c+)? or wicked hard burly Colorado 14b (8c)? Whatever, who really cares? It's a cool route, and a great addition to the front range on Jay and Daniel's part. Nice work fellas!

First 9a by Yamada Wataru  Facebook

Yamada Wataru has done his first or second 9a, Fabela pa la Enmienda in Santa Linya. "The grand sum of this three months trip in Europe!" Earlier this year the 162 cm Japanese did a Yuji Hirayama 9a giving it a personal grade of 8c+.

Nalle Hukkataival does a Graham 8C  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureNalle Hukkataival blogs about having repeated Dave Graham's, 8C From Dirt Grows The Flowers in Chironico. The crux is the mantle where he ended up using his forehead to help push through.

There is also a left variant which Nalle thinks is easier, althoug it has the same 8C grade. "While the left variant is the easiest way up, and thus maybe more logical, Dave’s original problem takes the straightest line up and finishes with one of the coolest and most complicated mantles I’ve ever done!

8c+ by Hannah Midtbø  (1) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureHannah Midtbø has done her first 8c+, La Novena Puerta in Santa Linya. Last winter she did three 8c's in the possibly greatest cave in the world.

"Last season when I first tried this route I just remember getting so spanked, every individual move felt so hard... Very cool to feel progression and see how the body adapts after working it... and then actually sending it, feels so good:) amazing route, one of the best in Santa Linya. A real joy to climb." (c) Henning Wang

In the last Lead WC, her brother Magnus was #3. Hannah has almost stopped but this year she was #16 in the Boulder World Championship. Four years ago, when she was 18 she was 3 in the European Championship.

La Rambla, 9a+, by Sachi Amma  (10) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureThe Lead World Cup 2012 winner, Sachi Amma has climbed La Rambla, 9a+, in Siurana which took him seven tries over five days. The last two years, when he was #3 and #5 in the Lead WC, he finished the season in a similar fashion by sending 9a+ routes Papichulo and Pachamama, the latter being the only repeat of this extremely hard Chris Sharma line. Sachi's next objective is to try another Siurana testpiece: Golpe de Estado (9b).

9a FA again by Christian Bindhammer (36)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureChristian Bindhammer, who has been a Lead World Cup finalist some 30 times, has made yet another 9a FA, Iron Dome, 9a in Allgäu. He did his first by Action in 2003 and since than he has done one 9a more or less every year.

Because of the very sharp and edgy style including one mono you can't do more than 3 tries a day and it's horrible if it's to warm. So to find the right conditions there is a challenge and then you'll need to do it fast ;-)"

Yesterday he started a new harder project at the crag that he hopes to do next spring. More pics by Maxi Klaus on FB

8a+ OS by Martina Cufar Potard  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureMartina Cufar Potard has onsighted Les fabulosos cadilacs, 8a+ in Piedra Parada which means she has been in Argentina for the Petzl Roc Trip. In 2001, Martina was the Lead World Champion and since than Slovenia, with 2 million inhabitants, has been one of the most successfull competition nations in the world. (c) Said Belhaj

8c by Conny Matthes  Facebook

Conny Matthes has done her second 8c, Intercooler in Frankenjura where she also has done six 8A's this year.

Three 8A's by Katha Saurwein  Facebook

Katha Saurwein has added another three 8A's to here log-book making it twelve 8A's and harder including three 8A+ the last year. In 2008, she won one Boulder World Cup.

8A by Margo Hayes (14)  (3) Facebook

Margo Hayes has done her first 8A, Sunshine in Hueco Tanks which was first suggested as an 8B. She did her first 7C+ at the age of 12 years old, and last year she flashed another one. Margo has also done 8b being tied in.

First 9a by Shoda Shinichi  (7) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureShoda Shinichi has done his first 9a, Era Vella in Margalef which is the most repeated 9a in the world during the last two years.
"I started attempting "Era Bella" last November. I tried it for five days but I could not make it to the top. This year, I finally sent it after 20 days of projecting including also the rest days. This route was the most full pump fest and the most beautiful route in my life. Thank you Sharma!"

Nalle's 8C gets 8B+ by Jan Hojer again  (72) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJan Hojer has once again made a quick repeat of a Nalle Hukkataival 8C in Val Bavona, Off The Wgon giving it a personal grade of 8B+. "I didn't even dare dreaming of that boulder when I saw dosage for the first time. The FA of that classic is the well deserved reward for all the work, Nalle invested into brushing nearly everything in this valley.

Took me about 20 tries over two sessions. Anybody who tried "Off the Wagon" knows how irrelevant the grade is for such a cool line... It's a hard boulder and even harder for short People!"

It should be mentioned that it is very important to respect the access issues and park outside the village and do not walk in big groups etc.

Markus Eder repeats Loskot's 9a (+)  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKlem Loskot gives us the story of his first, and the second ascent, from Markus Eder of The Balcony project, 9a (+).

"It is a fantastic line and it has been in my brain since I bolted it 18 years ago. It is bouldery, absolutely not my style, so fingery. I am heavy and it is not possible to put much weight on feet. Three weeks ago I started to work it together with Markus Eder. It is nice to not work alone and we found a new solution and two session later I did it and some days ago also Markus did it."

What is your plan for the future?
Keep on pulling hard and evolving my style of "flying and dancing weightless" on the rock and of course climb some
more hard stuff. I opened a lot of hard boulders the last two years which I want icons of bouldering to try, like Forever Pretty, 8B+ I put up three weeks ago. I feel still not on zenith which I want to find...

I forgot in the mail yesterday that I want to pay tribute, say that Zunami (8C) by the Schwaiger brothers in 2003 is very cool. Also, it's a pure line, for limestone here at home not so easy to find. It's how you think of a hard boulder, check the picture!

8A+ and more by Alex Puccio  (3) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio is about to brake some kind of record having done seven 8A's and harder including todays Conquistadors, 8A+ in Chironico. "Really really AMAZING boulder!!! I found it really hard being short. Did it on my third day on it, but fell off the top the first and second day. Max reach! :) Did another amazing boulder today as well. Good day."

In total Alex has done 47 boulders 8A and harder which probably puts her at top also in that field. She has two more weeks left before going back to UK and she just might trying some 8B's. Next year, she plans to do the Boulder WC again. The last two years she was 5 and #3 overall. In 2009 she won the only event she participated in.

Third 8b+ by Mirko Caballero (11)  (5) Facebook

Mirko Caballero has done his third 8b+, Chemical Ali in Smith Rocks for which the weekend warrior family had to drive nine hours. "Yes!! So psyched GREAT route!! Amazing movement and test of technique!!! One of my favorite routes!". Two weekends ago they flew five hours and drove two hours to Red River where he onsighted his first two 8a's.

"My Dad is cool, he's always willing to go somewhere to climb :) But only when I'm not in school... :( haha" In the junior ranking game, the eleven year old is #15 although he has eight more years in this category.

Klem Loskot (38) is back with an 8C and 9a?  (7) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureKlem Loskot is one of the great pioneers having opend hard core boulders around the world for more than 15 years. At 38 he is back having repeated the Schwaiger brothers Zunami, 8C, in the Saalachtal.

Climax also reports that Klem also has finished the Balcony project which he bolted 18 years ago.

Fantastic 8C and 8B+ FA's in Valle Bavona  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureCarlo Traversi has made the FA of Heritage, 8B+ in Valle Bavona. "You've had dreams about this problem without ever seeing it. It's that good. Might be the single best line that I've ever climbed." (c)Connor Griffith

In the same valley, Nalle Hukkataival opened Momentum, 8C.
"One project down, many more to do! With the great conditions today here in Ticino, I managed to send a phenomenal project that I've been working on for the past couple weeks! This boulder is a dream come true for me and one of my biggest achievements.

9a by Larcher and 8c (+) by Le Nevé  (24) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJacopo Larcher wrote in his blog that after a rest day he was confident that Melissa Le Nevé would do Southern Smoke, 8c (+) and that he would do it with the Direct start, 9a... and so they did.

Jacopo came to Red River Gorge with a personal best of 8c redpoint and 8a+ onsight. During the last ten days he has done six personal bests. Melissa came to RRG with 8b+ as a personal best and now she has done two 8c (+).

Pic: Ignacio Sandoval Burón.

8C FA by Dai Koyamada again  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDai Koyamada reports that he has done the FA of Insanity of Grandeur, 8C in Chironico which adds an 8B sit start to Delusion of Gradeur, 8A+ (B). A month ago, Dai did the same sit start but went right making the first repeat of Martin Keller's Der mit dem Fels tanzt, 8C. (c) Ikuko Serata

James Kassay does The Wheel of Life Direct  (19) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJames Kassay has written on FB that he has done The Wheel of Life DIRECT which links four boulders in the Hollow Mountain Cave in Grampians.

Dai Koyamada opened the original 65 mover as an 8C+ in 2004 which James did one year ago commenting, "Now for the direct!" James has worked the roof for more than 10 years.

8c+ (9a) and more by Jacopo Larcher  Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureJacopo Larcher has had two amazing weeks in Red River Gorge where he has achieved several personal bests. Yesterday he did Pure Imagination confirming the 8c+ grade by Adam Ondra. "After a quick warm-up, I finally understood the weird move on the lower part, where I fell on all my earlier attempts, and I easily climbed my way up to the chain. Another “5 star” line here in the Red is done.

More info at his blog which ends by saying that he is confident about doing Southern Smoke direct, 9a after a rest day and that Melissa is close to sending the original Southern Smoke line, 8c (+).

Two 8a OS by Jenya Kazbekova (16)  (1) Facebook

Jenya Kazbekova has onsighted two 8a in Terradetts, Bon Viatge and Latido del miedo and she goes to #3 in the Junior ranking game. Her father Serik has won World Cups both in Lead and Bouldering and her mother Nataliya Perlova, has a silver and a bronze in Bouldering World Championships. Jenya did her first 8b+ when she was 13 years old so all together the Ukraine family is among the most successful climbing families in the world.

Woods confirms another Ondra 8c+ (9a)  (8) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods has climbed Golden Ticket in the Red River Gorge, for which he gives a personal grade of 8c+, just like Ondra did as he onsighted it. "Such an incredible route! My favorite in the Red. Was lucky to battle with thin skin and fight to the top on my 3rd go. Varied movement throughout the route. Psyched to start bolting!

We just received bolting equipment. Jon and I are going to bolt this new cave we found between purgatory and this other random cliff. It is a sick wall. Hopefully it produces some hard projects. Adams new lines at the chocolate factory look sick!"
(Adam spent most of his last days bolting, since he had done most of the hard routes)." (c) Francois Lebeau

14th 8b and harder by Tito Traversa (12)  Facebook

Tito Traversa has done Parsibuki perverse, 8b in Tetto di Sarre which was his 14th route 8b and harder. The first 8b he did when he was ten-years-old.

8A (B) by Dylan Barks (17)  (5) Facebook

Dylan Barks has done PCP in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch giving it a personal grade of 8A. The 17 year old has previously done Lucifer, 8c+ in Red River Gorge.

8A+, 8A and 7C+ (8A) by Alex Puccio  (2) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureAlex Puccio reports from Chironico, "Good day climbing! Did 3 awesome boulders! :)": Roswell 8A+, Teamwork 8A and Kit Dynamite for which she gives a personal grade of 7C+.

Alex, who has been one of the leading World Cup boulderers the last years, leads the 8a ranking game in a superior way.

9a also by Jon Cardwell in RRG  Facebook

Jon Cardwell became the fourth guy to do Southern Smoke Direct, 9a after Ondra (flash), Woods and Lachat during the last week in Red River Gorge. "Very happy to finish this one! At first I thought it would be not so bad but the boulder proved to be a nemesis for me. Incredible climbing! Thanks for the support Chelsea, Daniel and Adam.

8b OS & 8c (+) by Melissa Le Nevé  (4) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureToday Melissa Le Nevé onsighted Ultra Perm, 8b in Red River Gorge. She was also a millimeter from doing 50 Words of Pump, 8c (+). Update, now it has been done Check her blog, (c) Aurelien Tixier

Previously she has done Transworld Depravity, 8b+ and onsighted an 8a+. "It is really good climbing here. The spirit is really good and a lot of motivation around everyone".

Have you started to scream like Ondra or what is happening?
I screamed at the top or when I fell on 50 words of Pump. I understand that sometimes it helps a lot to use the right energy and do some moves :) I took two rest days and I just feel really good and in good shape Video of the 8b OS

Daniel Woods flashes 8c+ (9a) in RRG  (27) Facebook

Click to Enlarge PictureDaniel Woods confirmed Adam Ondra's personal down grade of Pure Imagination by flashing it, calling it a soft 8c+. "Crazy moment. Thanks to Adam for the belay and beta. Good vibes at the cliff. A perfect crimp resistance route."

In the 8a ranking game, Adam and Daniel has been the Top-2 guys for almost five years in a row. Here is a 6 month old interview with Daniel.

The FA Jonathan Siegrist commented on DPM after Adam Ondra's onsight, "This is super impressive, and while he may be too strong to really know (probably), I think a little grade correction is long overdue in the Red - even if it is one of my routes getting downgraded..."

9a+ by David Gambús  (1) Facebook

David Gambús has repeated Iker Pou's Celena, 9a+ which is a link up of two routes at Ilarduia. It took David some 50+ days to take it down.


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